Formula 1 Racing

F1’s new overtaking aid · RaceFans

2026 F1 car rendering - front

Formula 1 will drop its divisive Drag Reduction System at the end of next season when it introduces new technical regulations.

But the series will introduce a new Manual Overtake Mode to recreate the effect of DRS by giving drivers a power boost when they get close to a car ahead.

The FIA confirmed details of F1’s new technical regulations for 2026 today. As when the current rules were introduced in 2022, they include several changes intended to make it easier for cars to run closely together.

“Overtaking remains a very important parameter for F1,” said the FIA’s single seater technical director Jan Monchaux. “It’s going to be tackled in two ways.

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“The first one is to continue to have an aero concept for the car that reduces the losses generated by the car in front and which are negatively impacting the following car.

“To be able to overtake you need to be close to the car ahead of you, and if you can’t follow in a corner because it is generating so much dirty air that your car gets unstable and you need to drop away, then the moment you are on the straight line, you need to recover all that loss. So it’s very important for us that you can reasonably follow another car in a cornering situation.

“To do that we need to make sure from the aero concept that the amount of dirty air being generated is not impacting too much the following car. That’s number one.”

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However the changes F1 is also making to its power units had led it to allow drivers to use adjustable aerodynamics regardless of how close they are to another car. DRS has therefore effectively been abolished.

But the FIA believes a similar system to DRS will still be needed. It will therefore introduce a new system is calls Manual Override Mode, allowing drivers to use more electrical energy when they close on a rival.

“So [when] you enter the straight and the car is fairly close to the other to help the overtaking – since both cars will have rear wing open and front wing flap open – we are going to allow the car behind to deploy more electrical energy for a given portion of time during that lap,” Monchaux explained.

“Right now with the DRS you are behind a car, within a second, that ticks a box and you are allowed to open your DRS in a straight line. This will not be the case anymore. However, the logic will be the…

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